Manny Fernandes. Picture: SOWETAN
Manny Fernandes. Picture: SOWETAN

RESPECTED manager Manny Fernandes is spewing bile after his long-time star prospect, Dowayne Combrink, has bolted his stable — and he wants compensation.

The 23-year-old Gauteng middleweight champion, who has been with Fernandes from the amateur ranks, has teamed up with trainer Harold Volbrecht, whose gym is a few kilometres away from that of Fernandes, in the south of Johannesburg.

Combrink is now managed by Brian Mitchell.

Fernandes is very angry to have lost the boxer he claims to have started from nowhere only to lose him when Combrink is on the verge of making serious money.

Mitchell is the fight publicist for Golden Gloves of Rodney Berman, the veteran promoter.

The development means that Combrink will now fight strictly in tournaments organised by either Berman or Jeff Ellis.

Combrink has already appeared twice under a joint promotion by Berman and Ellis. That was on June 24 last year when he won the provincial title, as well as November 26 when he beat Simon Mokoena over six rounds. Both bouts took place at Emperors Palace.

"We, the people who develop fighters from scratch, must be compensated for our hard work," said Fernandes.

"I started Dowayne from scratch but it is only Brian and Harold who will make money when this boy becomes a world champion. So my time and efforts go to waste."

Fernandes said Mitchell had told him that he would have preferred Combrink to remain with Fernandes. "He said that could not happen because Rodney only works with trainers Harold and Colin Nathan. Look at Ilunga Makabu. He was schooled by Nick Durandt when he arrived here from Congo. He left Nick and joined Harold, and the boy is managed by Brian. But at least Nick told me that Berman compensated him for his efforts," said Fernandes.

Said Mitchell: "Manny has done a great job with Dowayne. Look, he’s got a point. I paid Jeff Elllis and the other guys money when their boxer Harry Simon joined me.

"But in this case, that won’t happen because Combrink is still a young fighter. Yes, Rodney did give Nick something for Makabu."

Durandt said if the contract between the parties still existed, surely the manager should be paid what was due to him until that contract ended. "I think it will be difficult to determine a transfer fee. Makabu was under a contract to me. I sat down with Rodney and sorted it out but that is not a common practice in boxing," he said.